Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Knowing Your Limits - Mental Health Awareness Retreat

Knowing Your Limits

There is a real life story going around about a guy in China, Tao Hsiao, who committed suicide after shopping for hours with his girlfriend. Tao had told his girlfriend that he had enough with shopping after five hours and demanded that they go home instead of continuing to shop. Instead of respecting his limits, his girlfriend insisted on going to another shop. Tao had other options as well, but perhaps he didn't know of them. 

People who viewed the news began to laugh via social media. "Ha,ha! that's something I would do because my girlfriend shops a lot", "Ha,ha! he seriously is going to kill himself over shopping? What a dummy" Comments like these were made. For me, it shows just how much we lack on educating the public on mental health issues.

Many people don't talk about depression, psychosis and other mental health issues due to stigma and therefore people viewing from the outside don't know what it is like for someone with a mental health illness to suffer.

I remember one day being out for pizza. At the time I was severely mentally ill but didn't know it. All I knew was that I heard voices and saw things that were not real but due to the lack of education, I didn't know it was a mental health issue, just something wrong with me. I remember the pizza shop suddenly becoming so crowded and I saw someone that triggered me. That was when I asked my friend if we could leave but she insisted that we stay a bit longer. She didn't know how ill I was either.

So there I sat. Trying to pretend I was alright. High on anxiety, my mind flipping out and on the edge. Hearing voices, seeing things and I was not able to move because my friend insisted we stay. When we finally left I broke down miserably. I cried and cried and cried for what seemed forever and thoughts of suicide definitely peeked into my mind.

It took time for me to learn to always! listen to my body and leave when I feel very high on anxiety on a situation and it took time to teach others to respect my space.

Not too long ago I wrote a post "Don't let anyone or anything set your limits" and I will repeat that again...Don't!. If you feel high on anxiety and someone is telling you stay no matter what, don't allow them to set those limits for you. Excuse yourself and leave. This is an option Tao could have used. He could have just said "I will wait for you in the car or at home".

I no longer let people keep me in situations that make me feel worse mentally. I stand up for myself and tell them "I am sorry but I must go". I have even had this happened to me in doctors appointment where the front desk won't allow me to wait outside. I tell them that either they change my appointment for when the doctor will be available for me within 10 minutes of my arrival or find me another office that respects my limits. At the end of the day I am only hurting myself if I stay in those kinds of situations (where I push my mind over the limit and stress it) and that I refuse to do.

You will always know what limits to respect and what limits to challenge.

The holidays can be even more stressful for many, so please be careful with your limits and other people's limits. And don't be afraid to talk to others about your mental health and what they can do to help you feel better. You might be surprised how great people respond. For the most part for me, secretaries work with me and are willing to take one or two minutes out of their time to get me and call me in from outside the office when it's my turn or I hardly have to wait to see the doctor since I still suffer with anxiety. 

Happy Healing and Happy Holidays Everyone =] Stay Safe

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***LEGAL DISCLAIMER: the information provided is not intended to replace any professional help. Discretion is advised. I am not a professional nor pertaining to act as such. The information given was gather from personal experience and educational resource.


  1. Interesting post, Skittles. I think it's really good you've taken a stand and vocalized this view for others to see and reflect about. It takes a long time to learn to respect ourselves in a way that is kind to us - longer than it takes for us to learn to respect others. It's good to try to find a balance that can work and knowing, and being prepared for, what your limitations are is a huge step forward!

  2. I totally agree, it does take time. Thank you for sharing Em =]